Maple (Vaughan), Ontario – It is common for people to seek treatment from chiropractors for low back pain, neck pain, headaches or even injuries from work and car accidents. These are conditions that are mostly seen in adults. Since a child will not typically complain of low back pain, neck pain or headaches, the parents may never see a reason to get their child checked by a chiropractor for a well exam or a spinal / posture check-up. However, regardless of any pain or symptom, a child may have spinal misalignments or posture displacements that could be putting strain on their nervous system. Since the nervous system controls and co-ordinates every function of the body, it’s imperative that the nervous system remains as stress-free as possible for optimal health, optimal growth and optimal body function.
Consider this … spinal misalignments can occur at any time throughout the child’s growth, development and life.
Here are the 10 top reasons for your child to have a chiropractic check-up:
1. Birth Trauma – The birth process itself can be a stressful and traumatic experience for the baby. As the baby is being delivered, any turning or pulling of the baby’s head and neck, either by hand, forceps or vacuum extractor, can cause spinal misalignments or nerve injury right from the start.
2. Childhood Milestones – As the baby begins to crawl the natural curve of the neck is being developed. When the baby begins to sit, stand and walk, the baby begins to bear weight on the low back. This causes the natural curve of the low back to be developed. A chiropractic check-up during these milestones can help detect any spinal misalignments and ensure these important spinal curves are developing correctly.
3. Falls – A child may fall many times during the early years of life. It may be a a fall from the change table, couch or crib, or a fall on the bottom while learning to walk, or a fall during play time, bike riding or sporting activities. We have all seen children have “minor” falls and then get right back to what they were doing. Sometimes, the child may have a more serious fall that requires immediate medical attention. The most common equipments for childhood injuries or falls are: bicycles, skate boards, inline skates, roller skates, swings, monkey bars, slides and seesaws. Whether the fall was “minor” or “major”, the trauma from these falls add up throughout childhood and can cause spinal misalignments. This certainly warrants a spinal check-up by the chiropractor.
4. Backpacks – It seems that children are carrying backpacks right from the start of schooling days. I have seen children carry backpacks that are way too big for their body size and way too heavy. As the child gets older and attends upper grades, their backpack gets heavier and heavier. An overweight backpack puts a lot of strain and stress on the child’s back causing spinal stress and postural imbalances.
5. Lap Tops, Cell Phones and Handheld Electronic Devices – We are definitely well into the “electronic gadget age”. Not just adults, but children too. I have seen 2 year children masterfully navigate and use their parent’s iPhone, playing games and watching videos. Many children play with handheld video games, listen to mp3 players or use handheld tablets or laptops. If this is your child, watch him or her next time and you may see that their neck is constantly bent forward in a flexed position when using their handheld device. This causes much strain on the spinal bones and soft tissues and added stress on the nervous system over time. Over the years, this causes an abnormal forward head posture and other compensatory postural imbalances.
6. Video Games / Internet Surfing – We talked about hand-held electronic devices, tablets and laptops, what about computer games, video games, internet searching and even T.V. watching? A 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 3rd-12th grade students (aged 8-18) spend on average 7 hours and 38 minutes a day using entertainment media (T.V, computers, video games, music, print and cell phones).1 This adds up to more then 53 hours a week. The ergonomic factor with this much use of entertainment media can not be overlooked. Often times, the child or teen is not sitting in an optimal posture or position to minimize strain or stress on the spine and muscles. They are slouching or protruding their head forward while playing games or surfing the net. And often times, they are playing or using their computers for extended periods of time in one sitting without getting up. The consequence is that the child’s spine and posture can get misaligned over time.
7. Stress – A child stressed, you may ask? How can this be? Stress not only affects adults but it affects children as well. Stress comes from many sources. There are physical stresses such as falls and ergonomic factors, such as those mentioned above. There are chemical stresses such as additives in foods, snacks and drinks. There are emotional stresses such as social anxiety, performance anxiety or fear from bullying. I have seen 6 year olds that are already high achievers and perfectionists, unknowingly putting unnecessary stress on themselves. A child is neither equipped nor mature enough to handle these kinds of emotional stresses. Regardless of the source of stress, stress has a detrimental effect on the child’s health, the child’s nervous system and the child’s overall well-being. Chiropractic is not a treatment for any medical condition. However, if the child is experiencing any kind of stress mentioned above, a chiropractic check-up to detect for spinal misalignments and their effect on the nervous system is recommended.
8. Car Accidents – Children that are not fastened properly in a car seat or with a seatbelt (depending on their age) can suffer serious injuries from car accidents, including death. Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental deaths in children. However, even when they are fastened properly in a car seat or with a seatbelt, the forward action that occurs with the child’s head during a car accident can cause injury to the spine and soft tissues. A check for spinal misalignments by the chiropractor is necessary after a car accident.
9. Scoliosis – Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine from side to side. The only definitive way to detect a scoliosis is with imaging studies, such as an x-ray. In most cases, the cause for scoliosis is unknown. Sometimes the child may have one shoulder higher then the other or other postural imbalances because of scoliosis. Early screening for scoliosis is crucial so the proper intervention and treatment can be provided if a scoliosis is discovered. The chiropractor can perform a spinal and postural exam to screen for scoliosis, get x-rays done if necessary and recommend the appropriate intervention or treatment if a scoliosis is detected.
10. Resolution Of A Particular Symptom Or Condition – Often times, parents have heard from other patients how their child who had asthma, allergies, bedwetting, colic, constipation, diarrhea or some other condition was helped with chiropractic care. Chiropractic is not a treatment for any childhood disease or condition; however, many parents report that these types of conditions in their child have responded favorably with chiropractic care. A chiropractor checks for and corrects spinal misalignments. Spinal misalignments cause stress and interference on the nervous system. The nervous system controls and co-ordinates every organ and function of the body. The nervous system also controls and co-ordinates healing and repair. When there is interference on the nervous system, there is altered body function which means the body does not function optimally. Correcting spinal misalignments relieves stress on the nervous system allowing the nervous system to function optimally and therefore the rest of the body to heal and function optimally.
In conclusion, whether a child has a symptom, health condition or not, these are the top 10 reasons for your child to have a chiropractic check-up. Early detection and correction of spinal misalignments is essential for an optimal nervous system, for optimal growth, for optimal health and for a child’s long-term well-being.
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By: Dr. Walter Salubro
Maple’s Family Wellness Chiropractor
Dr. Walter Salubro is a family wellness chiropractor who has been serving the Maple and Vaughan community for over 13 years.
Dr. Salubro provides chiropractic care to people all age groups. He has completed many post-graduate courses in techniques applicable to both children and adults. In addition to offering specific spinal adjustments and posture corrective techniques,
Dr. Salubro offers an extensive line-up of health and wellness workshops, exercise classes and a run-walk club to his patients.
Dr. Walter Salubro is dedicated to providing the highest quality chiropractic care for all of his patients. He is a 1999 graduate of the National College of Chiropractic and certified from the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (C.A.C.C.P.). Dr. Walter Salubro is Webster Technique Certified, certified and recognized by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). Dr. Salubro caters to the specialized care of infants and pregnant mothers.
“Where children, youths and families come for chiropractic care.”
Maple & Vaughan’s Family Wellness Chiropractic Centre